Once a semester, APU’s School of Business hosts a career fair in partnership with the Center for Career and Calling. On Wednesday, Oct. 5, students from a variety of majors gathered in Wilden Hall to speak to representatives of 14 different companies.
The Center for Career and Calling is a resource for students researching job opportunities, major and career exploration, graduate school or vocational ministry. The center decided to host the event alongside the School of Business to help students gain networking experience with professional connections.
“[For example], if you come to an event and you’re interested in Teach for America, you have made a contact with a recruiter, so you can say, ‘Hey, I really want a job for Teach for America, do you mind just reviewing my application before I send in the final one?’” said Noel Tran, the Associate Director of Employer and Alumni Connections.
Dressed to impress, students were given the opportunity to connect with representatives of the entities that interested them. Representatives at each booth talked with students about their company, handed out pivotal information about their application process and even looked over résumés to suggest how students could stand out to future employers.
After companies introduced themselves to students, they broke off into separate sessions that targeted a specific focus. For instance, Bay Alarm Company taught students how to construct their 30-second elevator pitch, while Target discussed how to create a professional résumé and cover letter and how to properly fill out an application. Each session allowed students to ask any questions they might not have had a chance to ask at the booths.
Although students weren’t hired on the spot, the career fair was designed to help them build contact and connections with those who can assist them in getting their foot in the door.
“I’m not a business major, but I found it useful to talk to many of the representatives there,” senior physical education major Malik Bray said. “I was able to walk away with a great deal of knowledge about how I can be useful to these companies, even as someone who takes up other interests than just physical education. I even exchanged contacts with a few people that I anticipate contacting upon graduating.”
The companies present provided lists of job openings and internships, but some students felt that the companies were looking for specific majors to fill those positions.
“I find career day [to be] useful if you have the right major, because some of their openings are very specific to either business or to psychology or to other majors,” senior sociology major John Centeno said.
Though the companies may not have catered to all the majors who attended, Tran encouraged all students to take advantage of the networking opportunities at these fairs.
“If you were a different major, like English or IT, and you came to this career fair and introduced yourself and your major that they weren’t recruiting for, you actually may stand out more than if you were coming to a career fair just for you,” Tran said.
Although non-psychology or business majors may stand out to employers, Centeno said he hopes future career fairs will nevertheless draw companies interested in hiring a variety of majors.
“It would be helpful if they would have more openings for a diverse field instead of having specifics,” Centeno said. “It’s just good in general to help people with their résumés and to know that our money is actually helping us to find a job after college.”
The Center for Career and Calling welcomes students to come into the office to ask any questions they may have about their résumé and/or cover letter.
The Center for Career and Calling is located across from the OAT lawn and is open Monday though Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.